Nigerian Army questions authenticity of Boko Haram leader, Shekau’s new video

Nigerian Soldiers

Shekau was believed to have been killed in a gun battle.

The Nigerian Army on Thursday said the recently released video by Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Jamaatu ahlis sunnah lil daawati wall jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram, is questionable.

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES, the Army Director of Information, Ibrahim Attahiru, said the Army was yet to verify the authenticity and content of the video.

“The video is a purported tape and must be verified.” Mr. Attahiru said.

The Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Restore Order, in Maiduguri, Borno State, had on August 19 released a statement saying that its intelligence report believed Mr. Shekau might have died from gunshot wounds sustained in an encounter with the soldiers in one of the terrorist camps at Sambisa Forest on June 30.

“Shekau was mortally wounded in the encounter and was sneaked into Amitchide – a border community in Cameroun for treatment which he never recovered. It is greatly believed that Shekau might have died between 25 July to 3 August, 2013,” the statement had read.

The outlawed sect kept mum and refused to confirm or refute the death of their leader for one month, although it continued its criminal activities killing scores of people in various incidents in the North.

Two months after the military’s statement, the sect leaked a video by its leader to the media.

Mr. Shekau was quoted by the Hausa service of the BBC on Wednesday as saying in the video that his sect was responsible for last week’s killings in Benisheikh, Borno State. He reportedly said that contrary to reports over 200 people died in the attacks, and not 160.

The Boko Haram leader also took responsibility for a similar attack in Monguno Town recently, which also took place after the August statement by the JTF.

He said his group will not stop its violent acts until an Islamic government guided by the Sharia is put in place, adding that they will continue to fight the democratic governance being practiced in Nigeria.

The federal government had declared a state of Emergency in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe, with heavy military deployment, in other to check the activities of Boko Haram and other criminal groups in the area.

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